Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Texas And Arizona National Guard To Southern Border

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Yahoo:

Washington (AFP) – The US states of Texas and Arizona on Friday announced plans to send National Guard troops to the southern border with Mexico after President Donald Trump ordered a thousands-strong deployment to combat drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

The Texas National Guard said it would send 250 troops to the border within 72 hours and had already deployed two Lakota helicopters, while Arizona’s governor said he would send 150 personnel next week.

“The Texas national guard is preparing to immediately deploy with supporting aircraft, vehicles and equipment to the Texas-Mexico border,” Brigadier General Tracy Norris, the commanding general of the Texas National Guard, told reporters at a briefing.

“This deployment has begun with the movement of equipment and troops today. Within 72 hours the Texas military department will have 250 personnel along with ground surveillance vehicles as well as light and medium aviation platforms,” she added.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced his plans in a tweet.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis signed an order for “up to 4,000 National Guard personnel to support DHS’s southern border security mission while under the command and control of their respective governors through September 30, 2018,” according to a Department of Defense memo.

The memo set out that troops would not carry out law enforcement activities without the defense secretary’s approval and would be armed only in “circumstances that might require self-defense.”

Just like I said would be the case.  It’s all just window dressing.

Trump To Send National Guard To Border

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Trump:

“The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis,” Trump said in the memorandum. “The lawlessness that continues at our southern border is fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people. My administration has no choice but to act.”

The president said that the nation’s security was under threat from “drastic illegal activity,” including drug smuggling. He also cited the threat of gangs, included MS-13. “The anticipated rapid rise in illegal crossings as we head into the spring and summer months threatens to overwhelm our Nation’s law enforcement capacities,” Trump wrote.

The memorandum did not say how many National Guard troops would be sent to the border or for how long. Trump said he was directing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in coordination with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to come up with “an action plan” within 30 days.

Uh huh.  This has been done before.

Unfortunately, I must report that “Armed does not always mean “armed” as most Americans would understand. There are various states of being “armed.” These are called “Arming Orders (AO)” which define where the weapon “is,” where the magazine “is,” where the bullets “are” and where the bayonet “is.” They start at Arming Order One which could best be described as a “show of force” or “window dressing” in the worse case.

After considerable searching, I was able to find a complete copy of the Memorundum of Understanding/Rules of Engagement pertaining to the National Guard Deployment (“Operation Jump Start”), which I could then review.

After reviewing the MOU/ROE, I contacted several senior “in the loop” National Guard Officers that I have previously served with, to determine how many soldiers would be “armed” and their Arming Order number. After confirming The El Paso Times article that “very few soldiers there would carry weapons,” I was advised that during the next 90 days, amongst the few soldiers that have weapons, no soldier will have an Arming Order greater than AO-1, which means that an M-16 will be on the shoulder, there will be no magazine in the weapon (thats where the bullets come from), and the magazines stored inside the “ammunition pouch” will in most cases have no ammunition, they will be empty.

It was also conveyed to myself that in the unlikely event that a soldier is ever harmed on the border, the Arming Order will not be raised. Every individual I spoke to envisions no circumstance where there will ever be soldiers at AO-3/4, where a magazine with ammunition would be immediately available. Instead the soldiers will simply be kept farther away from the border if needed. They will be deliberately kept out of harms way.

I know you are thinking (maybe screaming), “but Why?” The easy public relations answer is that a soldier could kill someone. The National Guard is going to ensure that there is not a repeat of the incident in which Esequiel Hernández was killed by a US Marine along the Border.

There are also numerous regulations pertaining to weapons. There is a requirement that a soldier must qualify with his weapon on an annual basis. Reasonably, you must be “qualified” with your weapon before you may carry a weapon. However, ranges for weapons qualification are extremely limited. National Guard soldiers normally perform their once a year required qualification when they go to Annual Training at Ft. Stewart, Ft. McCoy…… This year they are going to “the border” and unless there is a “regulation M-16 qualification range” down the road, they will not be able to get qualified. There is also the question of weapon storage and how do you prevent theft.

In order to deploy to the border as a military force under the current legal constraints, the following must be done: [a] the troops must be trained, [b] the military lawyers must craft and publish RUF/ROE (rules for the use of force, rules of engagement), [c] the troops must be trained on that RUF/ROE, [d] the troops must go through rifle qualifications while NCO and above also go through pistol qualifications again, and finally and most important, [e] arming orders will have to be issued.

It’s not going to happen.  They will sit at the border and push meaningless paperwork like they did the last time NG troops deployed to the border.

Is The North Carolina National Guard Being Deployed In Charlotte With Arming Orders?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

Concerning this article, I sent the authors a short note as follows.

Gentlemen,

So here is an important question about your coverage of the happenings in Charlotte.  I follow this sort of thing and have ascertained that more often than not, when the NG is deployed, they aren’t under “arming orders.”  This was true of the NG deployed to the Mexican border (they mostly sat in offices and aided with paperwork as they had no ammunition given to them for their weapons), and was true of the NG deployed in Ferguson.  Issuing arming orders is a big deal, involving training, requalification by the riflemen, issuing “rules for the use of force” that have been reviewed by the lawyers, etc., etc.

But they rarely listen to a blogger, so you might ask the question of the officials.  You might catch them flat footed and they will likely refuse to answer you because it might show the world that deploying the NG is just window dressing and none of them have ammunition.

If you ask and they answer, I’d appreciate attribution please.


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